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Leapin’ Lizards! It’s time to buy tickets for Annie
NO V EMBER 1 0 , 2 0 1 7 | 2 1 CH ESH V AN 5 7 7 8 | V O L . 9 8 | NO . 5 | C a ND LeLi G h Ti NG | FRID AY , NO V EMBER 1 0 , 4 : 5 1 P. M.
2018 Kehilla Cup success
Did you get Kehilla monstered?
Chabad Center Food Pantry seeks volunteers Page 2
GabbY bLaiR Staff Writer, Jewish Press The JCC Theater is pleased to announce that ticket sales will begin Monday, Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. for their much anticipated production: ANNIE! General Admission tickets ($10 adult; $5 students) and Patron Tickets (reserved seating!) may be purchased in advance by calling 402.334.6419. Show times are Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. in the JCC Theater.
Members of Team Kehilla-Monsters: Crystal Smith, left, Les Kay, Yakov Jeidel and Don Gerber
C.A.P.O.W.! comes to Friedel Page 5
Emerging Voices: Listening to America Page 12
feel this year’s Kehilla Cup was successful. It’s definitely a challenge to reach out to so many folks, so we really appreciate the volunteers, ambassadors and donors who helped us along the way.” Nate Shapiro, JFO Director of Development, couldn’t be more pleased with this year’s Kehilla Cup leadership. “Shane and Jess Cohn are the kind of community leaders that we dream about. They were engaged at every step of the way, from finding team captains, to helping those captains find teammates.” The Cohns also helped design and execute a new, streamlined pledge process for the JFO: moving away from pledge cards and towards a See Kehilla Cup page 3
JFO to sponsor 2nd JWRP MOMentum trip
inside Viewpoint Synagogues Life cycles
GabbY bLaiR Staff Writer, Jewish Press his year’s Kehilla Cup competition is in the books! Thanks to the support of our generous community, and donors like YOU, the Jewish Federation of Omaha’s 2018 Kehilla Cup has been a huge success. As of printing, more than $125,000 has been raised by over 350 donors! This year’s Kehilla Cup chairs, Shane and Jess Cohn, are grateful to the captains and ambassadors who volunteered to reach out and connect with the Jewish community. “We had great participation, not only in pledges, but also great feedback for the Federation. Overall, we
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MaRK KiRChhOFF Program and Communications Assistant “Inspire a woman, you inspire a family. Inspire enough families, you inspire a community. Inspire enough communities, you can change the world.” Such are the first words you are likely to read when you visit the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) website (jwrp.org). These words describe the conviction the organization has to its mission “to empower women to change the world through Jewish values that transform ourselves, our families, and our communities.” In 2008, eight Jewish women seeking to further empower and inspire Jewish women with the beauty of their Jewish her-
itage began a dialogue. From this dialogue the JWRP was formed, with its central program component, MOMENTUM, an eight-day journey in Israel. MOMENTUM provides an experience that connects participants to the land, to Jewish values, to each other. Since the initial journey in 2009, over 11,000 women from 26 different countries have participated in a JWRP trip. For the second consecutive year the Jewish Federation of Omaha is partnering with JWRP to sponsor a
group of women to participate in this experience. Participants must be willing to participate in pre and post programming with the Jewish Federation of Omaha and have an interest in becoming more actively involved in the Jewish community. This year’s trip is taking place from Nov. 26 – Dec. 6, 2017. More women applied than could be accepted; interviews were conducted in January of this year. From the list of applicants, the following individuals will be making See JWRP MOMentum trip page 2
The stage magic comes alive with the help of long time Theater Producer Esther Katz and her talented production crew: Fran Sillau, Director; Bernadette Smith, Music Director; Courtney Stein, Choreographer; Jessica Westerlin, Rehearsal Director; Carl Dumicich, Set Designer; Carol Wisner on lights; and Jeremy Garrett on sound. The JCC Theater is again partnering with designer Lesley Gould of Nebraska City for beautiful custom costumes. “Working with Lesley over the past few years has been a wonderful partnership; she always comes through with amazing costumes; it’s been a real asset and time saver for us!” explains Katz, who used to spend hours creating and searching for costume pieces. “Today I am able to fabricate the few accent pieces and accessories we may need and focus more on the production itself.” Katz is very excited for this production. “Annie is our largest scale endeavor in terms of set design thus far, and we already have our designer, Carl Dumicich, working on the set.” Katz has also been busy scouring Omaha for the props and set pieces to help pull off the visual effects she envisions for this play. “We have switched over to all FULL length productions, with a script from Music Theatre International, so it is a lot of material for our cast to learn. Our production staff works very hard to use every minute of rehearsal in the most productive way in order to get everything taught and we encourage our cast to do as much review at home as possible.” Annie likely broke the record for the speed in which casting spots were filled. “We are so blessed to have such quality and dedicated cast members, and are very excited to also have some new faces,” exclaims Katz. This show is sure to sell out quick, so don’t wait for Tomorrow, because tomorrow, may be a day... too late! The JCC Theater wishes to thank the See Annie page 3
2 | The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017
JWrP MOMentum trip
The Chabad Center Food Pantry seeks volunteers
erences. Generally clients CheryL Lerner Chabad Food Pantry will leave with about a Coordinator week’s worth of food. Volunteer opportunities Did you know that in Neare available in all areas of braska, 233,350 people are the program, and time comstruggling with hunger mitments can range from and of them 85,970 are on-call and as needed, to children? Though many of weekly or monthly assignus may not realize the grave ments. Areas include: takdisparities that exist in our ing calls to set up own communities, people appointments, meeting struggle with hunger in with clients, data entry, reevery county and district in stocking food shelves, placNebraska. They could be ing food orders, picking up our neighbors, kids in our children’s classes – the Joan Marcus, left, Julie Phillips, and Cheryl orders from Food Bank Lerner filling shelves at the pantry and/or grocery, unloading possibilities go on. Did you know that the Chabad Center Food Pantry food orders, and more. Volunteers seeing clients should has been providing food to those in need in the Omaha be able to commit to a two hour time period. Drivers community for close to 15 years through a food may use their own vehicle (SUV, mini-van, pick-up) or pantry staffed completely by volunteers? Now that use a van provided by Chabad. If you want to help, we can find an area that fits our needs and your abilities. you know, can you help? If you would like information on volunteering, Chabad of Nebraska serves as a network partner for Food Bank for the Heartland, providing emergency please contact Cheryl Lerner and Julie Phillips at and supplemental food to people in need in the Omaha email@example.com or Rachel Schoenholtzcommunity. Clients are seen by appointment and may Shatil at the Chabad office, 402.330.1800 or receive a pantry once per month. Appointments are firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the date and join us Dec. 7 from 5:30-7:30 made through a designated phone line. Volunteers will meet with clients at a scheduled time, generally allot- p.m. for a celebration to honor the Chabad Food ted 15-minute appointments. The pantry is client Pantry Volunteers. Dinner will be served. RSVP by choice, wherein the volunteer will assist the client in email to email@example.com or by phone at selecting food based on household size and client pref- 402.330.1800.
Members of of the 2016 & 2017 JWrP trips came together for a webinar with JWrP professional Adrienne Gold in March 2017. Back row: Jess Cohn, left, rachel Dysico, Melissa Shapiro, Jaime nogg, Denise Blake, Sonia Tipp, Amy Tipp, holly Weill, Crystal Smith, Marcee rogers. Front row: Danni Christensen and Jennie Gates Beckman. Continued from page 1 the trip: Jennie Gates Beckman (the Omaha City Leader), Denise Blake, Danni Christensen, Jessica Cohn, Rachel Dysico, Amy Isaacson, Lisa Lucoff, Jaime Nogg, Erica Parks, Aviva Segall, Melissa Shapiro, and Amy Tipp. The pre-trip programming for this group began on July 12 in the art room of the JCC. In keeping with one of the goals of the program to strengthen families, participants created their own decorative hamsa including a prayer for the home. Participant Jess Cohn planned out the art project and provided guidance so that all participants walked away with something they were proud of, no matter their artistic ability. A second meeting was held in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library during which time 2016 JWRP participant Holly Weill taught from the JWRP Year of Growth curriculum The Power of Speech (Koach HaDibbur).
During Sukkot, Aviva Segall invited the women and their families to join her daughters for a Shabbat lunch in their Sukkah. The women have continued to gather monthly to get to know one another better through dialogue and interactive programming hosted in the homes of participants in order to prepare for the approaching trip. First time traveler to Israel and one of last year’s participants Jenny Patterson reported afterwards in the Jewish Press, “When I learned about the JWRP, I was immediately intrigued by the concept of traveling with other moms,” she said. “A trip with all women, from different cities, with women as trip leaders, I liked the idea. The women of JWRP have very strong leadership skills as it turned out — they really know how to make this experience meaningful. Through the learning sessions, combined with everything we saw, they were able to create very solid connections among the participants.”
bible quiz sunday, december 3, 2017 32ND Annual Edward Zorinsky B’nai B’rith
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quiz questions are based on:
DEUTERONOMY 1st - 4th prizes are applicable to college tuition, an approved trip to Israel or an approved camp or educational program sponsored by a Jewish organization.
Participants can prepare on their own, (i.e. read the book) OR Contact a synagogue or religious educator to join a study group
FIRST PLACE $ 20 to contestants answering 3 questions correctly
TO REGISTER, email your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 29, 2017
Sponsored by Henry Monsky Lodge B’nai B’rith Questions? Call Steven Riekes at (402) 333-8498 or the B’nai B’rith office at (402) 334-6443 or email email@example.com
The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017 | 3
Karen Gustafson JFS Executive Director and Jeff Gustafson Business Department Head, Millard North High School any mortgage lenders use the 28/36 Rule to determine if a family is eligible for credit. The rule states that a household should spend a maximum of 28% of its gross monthly income on total housing expenses and no more than 36% on total debt service, including housing and other debt such as car loans (Investopedia). It’s also called a debt-to-income ratio, using terms such as front-end ratio and back-end ratio. The front-end ratio equals your monthly housing costs divided by your gross monthly income, which is what you earn before taxes. This figure should be no more than 28 percent. The back-end ratio equals your monthly housing costs plus your other monthly debt payments, divided by your gross monthly income. Monthly debt payments include secured and unsecured debts, such as car loans, student loans, credit cards and child support. Your back-end ratio should not be more than 36 percent. I bring this up because our recent Community Study has found that 0.9% of the Omaha Jewish population and 1.4% of Omaha elderly persons live below the Federal poverty levels. The study compares this information with “like size” communities, whose poverty rates are 5.5% in St. Paul and 1.4% in San Antonio for their Jewish population. For seniors in the same two “like size” cities, the poverty rates are 14.0% and 1.3%, respectively. At first glance, Omaha looks pretty good, comparatively, but tell that to the families in Omaha who live in poverty. A recent study found that some families are committing almost 80% of their income to “rent” (not even to own something). And, according to Washington D. C.: US Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2010; today, over 1 in 5 of all renting families in the country spends half of their income on housing. With this kind of data, how can a person or family get out of poverty? This problem then affects many others which can dig a person or family further into poverty, such as utility shut offs, which can affect a person’s credit while charging an additional fee to have it turned back on. Now, with bad credit, those in need of a reliable car have to go to a Rent-to-Own dealership that may require two payments a month totaling more than what the car is worth. How many of us make two
Continued from page 1 more personalized system that made the pledge process easier and more efficient for volunteers and donors alike. “They led by example, making calls, and encouraging all of us. I, personally and professionally, want to thank Shane and Jess Cohn for working with the Jewish Federation of Omaha to raise funds to keep supporting Jewish Omaha.” Shapiro goes on to say, “Each captain managed a team that was assigned about 70 of our past supporters to call and thank for their support, solicit their feedback for the Federation, and hopefully retain, gain or increase their financial support. We are looking forward to a good feedback session with the Cohns so we can continue to improve the Kehilla Cup.” Steve Levinger, JFO Chief Development Officer, couldn’t agree more. “Kehilla, which translates to “Community” in Hebrew, is at the foundation of why we continue to work at improving this important initiative. By involving a large number of volunteers, with Jess and Shane Cohn and their Captains’ leadership, we are able to showcase the good work of our Federation agencies and develop a better understanding of the programs and services that are offered and the people who benefit from the JFO’s Annual Campaign. Everyone benefits when we can grow our base of “ambassadors”.” And now, the moment we have all been waiting for... This year’s Kehilla Cup Team Champions are: Don Gerber and the Kehilla-Monsters! The members are Janet Kohll, Crystal Smith, Susie Shyken, Fred Tichauer, Howard Borden, Ron Giller, Yaakov Jeidel, Les Kay, Scott Weiler and Patricia Newman. This year’s champions racked up an impressive 8620 points, Mazal Tov! In 2nd place is Team Friedel with a
car payments a month... much less, are willing to pay more than a car is worth? Credit is a commodity and poverty is crippling. And, we have not yet even begun to talk about the toll that poverty plays in someone’s mental health, ability to hold a job, and a recent statistic that I read in the book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in The American City (which should be required reading for anyone who works with families in the throes of poverty), which states that adding children to this mix triples a person’s chance of being evicted. Once evicted, the eviction is now on your record for future landlords to see when you attempt to rent another apartment. In many cases your rent money and your deposit are gone and, let me remind you, you have no credit either. For those of you who read my articles, many of them are written in a way that allows the reader to question ones’ full understanding of a social issue. My goal is not to make someone uncomfortable, but to enlighten and share what I am learning as I continue to study and learn. A secondary goal is to share with you, the reader, the challenges that some of our community members face every day, and the requests for help that Jewish Family Service receives. For years, our Assistance Program has been to provide Emergency Assistance for those in need. And, I am proud to report that we have helped many families get over unanticipated boulders in the road. Just this past fiscal year, 2016-17, JFS was able to provide 376 “gifts” of financial help, either through the Food Pantry, payments of bills, rent, etc. to Jewish community members who needed help. But, I’ve begun to really ask myself... Are we making a significant difference in someone’s life? I know that short-term help is needed, but are we doing our best to also look at the long-term picture? In many cases it may depend on whether someone is willing to allow us to help them look at the bigger picture. Financial matters are very personal and not being able to make ends meet can feel degrading. We try every day to make people feel valued by listening to their goals and their immediate needs, while at the same time trying to educate and help them see a longer term picture. This is often difficult when someone has to make dayto-day decisions to survive. I think it’s healthy to reexamine processes frequently and JFS is no different. Having hard statistics, in the form of the Community Study along with our experiences and personal stories of our community members, is challenging all of us to do better.
final total of 8070 points, followed by Team Haozerim with 4550 total points, in 3rd. In 4th place, Eric and the ShapHeroes with 4360 points; 5th place Team Mashugana with 3890; 6th Team Shofar 1380 and 7th place Team KeHIPAA Cupliance with 1130 final points. The top three individual point earners are Jeff Zacharia, Don Gerber and Eric Shapiro. A big ‘Yasher Koach’ to all of the dedicated team members and community donors who participated in this year’s drive. Thanks to you, we all win! If you missed the call, forgot to pledge or the time just wasn’t right, not to worry! Your 100% tax deductible donation can still be made by contacting Steve Levinger, JFO Chief Development Officer, 402.334. 6433 or slevinger@ jewishomaha.org; Nate Shapiro, JFO Director of Development, 402.334. 6440 firstname.lastname@example.org; or Tammy Johnson, JFO Executive Assistant, at 402.334.6430 email@example.com.
Continued from page 1 following sponsors for supporting this production: The Karen Sokolof -Javitch Music Fund, The Morton A. Richards Youth Program Fund, The JCC Theatre Program Endowment Fund, and The Samuel and Bess Rothenberg Memorial Endowment Fund. A special thanks to Patty and Steve Nogg and The Joanie Jacobson Jewish Cultural Arts Fund for generously sponsoring the rental of headsets for the cast! We would not be able to put on quality performances without help from our sponsors, thank you!
727 N. 69 St. | $525,000 You don’t see houses like this every day! Fantastic, single-owner, large ranch in the prestigious Fairacres neighborhood. This house has been nearly untouched by time! This is your chance to own a stylish, elegant, mid century gem with huge bedrooms, tons of built-ins, crown molding throughout, and over 3,200 sq ft above grade! Live in the high end luxury of the 1960s or make it your own modern masterpiece. Your choice! 2 new furnaces ‘17. This one must be seen to be believed. Don’t hesitate.
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the 28 percent rule
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publishing date | 11.24.17 | space reservation | 11.15.17
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4 | The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017
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Perspectives on Promoting Empowerment in our World (PEW) Workshop An ADL-CRC educational program
PAm monsKy an active member of the No Place For Hate® Committee at Community Development Liaison, ADL Plains States Region their school,” she said. elebrating its 31st year of existence, 170 sophoEleanor Dunning, a sophomore at North High School, mores from 16 local high schools participated in was asked about her experiences at this year’s PEW. “I wasn’t the ADL-CRC’s Promoting Empowerment in entirely sure what to expect, but I was excited anyway. One Our World (PEW) Workshop Oct. 24 at Temple thing I wasn’t expecting was that our small group got really Israel. Students interested in leadership and inclose and that was nice,” she said. “I learned about other volvement in bettering school climate were selected by people through their ideas and words, and I’ll do my part in counselors and teachers at their schools to participate in the defending those who are victims of bullying,” she added. event. In addition, 30 trained volunteer facilitators worked Among the 30 volunteer facilitators was Howard Kaslow with the students in small groups throughout the day. of Abrahams Kaslow and Cassman LLP. This was his third PEW brings together year facilitating at PEW. high school students of When asked why he voldifferent school districts, unteers, he offered this exbackgrounds, religions, planation: “Each group is ethnicities, races and culcomposed of a dozen or so tures for an intensive onestudents from different day, interactive workshop schools who have never designed to heighten stumet each other before, and dents’ awareness of stereoI appreciate the opportutyping in their own nity to see the participants environment and enable find their voices and bethem to recognize and come open and sharing overcome biases in themwith people who--a few selves and their peer minutes earlier--were group. At the beginning of strangers.” One of the best the day, students are sepaparts of the day in Kaslow’s Ayanna Boykins, ADL Education Director, (center) speaks with students rated from their home opinion, was at the end. at the conclusion of PEW 2017 schools and assigned a “At the end of the day, we small group to create a asked the students to write blend of the different on a post-it note one schools, backgrounds and thought they could take cultures. The programaway from the day, and ming activities are led by each one of them had a 30 volunteer facilitators positive response: listen representing all sectors of better, stand up for what’s the community. At the right, be an ally, speak out conclusion of the day, stuwhen someone is being dents return to their bullied and choose words school groups to discuss carefully,” he added. issues concerning bias, Describing the students, bullying and other forms Kaslow said, “The students of hate, and incorporate strongly believe in freedom their newly-learned conof expression for all, they Howard Kaslow Eleanor Dunning, right, with her care about how others are cepts to plan ways to create dad Eric Dunning a safer and more inclusive school community for all. treated, they appreciate the The goals of PEW are to provide an understanding of opportunity to learn techniques to use when they are conprejudice and discrimination and the harm that can be infronted with incidents of bigotry or bias, and they were reflicted upon individuals and society; to recognize personal spectful of one another. They also are generally willing to biases and to take responsibility for combating prejudice express their opinions even if their’s is a minority view. I and discrimination; to challenge the stereotypes and biases would recommend volunteering as a facilitator to someone which inhibit inter-group understanding; to build bridges who enjoys spending the day with high school sophomores of understanding and new friendships among students who helping them to express themselves about issues and conrepresent the spectrum of diversity with regard to culture, cerns about identity and relationships that many of them face race, religion, sexuality, socio-economic status and ability; on a daily basis.” and to encourage participants to be allies in their school The Anti-Defamation League (ADL-CRC) is a non-profit communities and encourage them to stand up and speak organization dedicated to defending democratic ideals, out when they see bullying or bias. safeguarding civil rights and combating prejudice, discrimiThe venerable success of the PEW is due to the hard work nation and bigotry of all kinds. One of the nation’s oldest of the ADL-CRC staff, volunteers including the staff of the and most respected human relations organizations, ADLInstitute for Holocaust Education, Penny Endelman, the CRC is a leader in the development of materials, programs schools and students, the volunteer facilitators and the supand services that build bridges of communication, underport of sponsors. The Murray H. and Sharee C. Newman standing and respect among diverse racial, religious and Supporting Foundation has funded the PEW for a number ethnic groups worldwide. of years. Other sponsors include the Shirley and Leonard For more information about PEW, please contact Ayanna Goldstein Supporting Foundation, Speedy and Debbi Boykins, Education Director, ADL-CRC at 402.334.6573 or Zweiback, Ideal Pure Water, Valentino’s, Physician’s Mutual, email ABoykins@adl.org. The Bookworm, Temple Israel and the Jewish Federation of Omaha. This one-day workshop kicks off the ADL-CRC’s “No Place for Hate” initiative in participating schools, allowing students the opportunity to incorporate what they have learned during the workshop into action. Ayanna Boykins, Education Director, spearheads PEW. “We hope that every student who participates in PEW will return to their schools as advocates for a world in which differences can be appreciated and respected, and become
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#2053 did a hype-up meeting which included making posters and discussing spirit. FRC, being a smaller regional convention, helped bring Omaha and our region closer together, and was a great way to end October!
Coming up in November, Omaha Council has weekly meetings and programs, as well as our big Fall Fest (Nov. 29), which includes us riding in a party bus to a UNO basketball game, where we have box seats. Fall Fest is open to all eighth through twelfth graders and is free of cost. Come join us! (RSVP to email below) To stay updated, follow Omaha Council BBYO on Twitter and Instagram (@bbyo omaha), and like our Facebook Page, Omaha Council BBYO. Any other questions, feel free to email omahaalephmaz email@example.com.
community C.A.P.O.W.! comes to Friedel
Do you know a child who would love to see an explosion, colorful chemical reaction, or a professor with lightning coming from his or her fingertips? C.A.P.O.W.! (Chemistry and Physics on Wheels) is a program that brings exciting science demonstrations into schools. Sunday, Nov. 12, at 3:30 p.m., one of UNO’s “Science Wizards” is bringing C.A.P.O.W.! to Friedel Jewish Academy. The program is free and open to all families with children ages 6 and under in the Jewish community and at the CDC. Snack will be provided. For more information, please contact Mercedes Obora at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.334.0517.
B’nai B’rith BreadBreakers
B’nai B’rith Breadbreakers meets weekly on Wednesdays at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home auditorium from noon to 1 p.m. For specific speaker information, please email Gary.Javitch@gmail.com, Breadbreakers chairman. For more information or to be placed on the email list call 402.334.6443 or email@example.com.
rae Cherry and JOrdan raffel October was a busy month for Omaha Council BBYO! It started off with Haunted Havdallah, which included all youth groups in Omaha. We met at the JCC where we had a Havdallah service and ate, and then headed off to Bellevue Berry Farm. There, we went on the haunted hayrack ride and sat around the bonfire. Overall, this program was a nice way to connect Jewish youth in Omaha, and have a fun and festive experience for October! Then came the big event for this month. Omaha BBYO traveled to Fall Regional Convention (FRC) at Lake Doni-phan Retreat Center, a few hours from Kansas City. At the convention, Omaha met up with all the other chapters from Mid-America Region (MAR), including Kansas City and Missouri. The convention’s focus was leadership. Participants learned about this by listening to speakers and participating in many activities. To get excited about this convention, the manly men of Mother Chapter AZA #0001 participated in their annual paintball day at Mad Cow Paintball in Louisville, Nebraska, and the lovely ladies of MZ Yoshanah BBG
The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017 | 5
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publishing date | 12.08.17 | space reservation | 11.22.17 Contact our advertising executive to advertise in this very special edition.
Susan Bernard | 402.334.6559 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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6 | The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017
community Anti-semitic incidents surge in U.s., ADL says
NEW YORK | JTA of Jewish community centers, synagogues, Jewish Anti-Semitic incidents in the first nine months of 2017 preschools and the ADL itself — in its tally of anti-Semihave risen 67 percent over the same period last year, actism. cording to the Anti-Defamation League, which factored in a “While the details of this crime remain unclear, the imstring of bomb threats largely attributed to a Jewish man in pact of this individual’s actions is crystal clear: ese were Israel. acts of anti-Semitism,” Greenblatt said in a statement at the On the current pace, the number of incidents will nearly time. “ese threats targeted Jewish institutions, were caldouble the figure from 2015. culated to sow fear and anxiety and put the entire Jewish ere was also a 92 percent increase in anti-Semitic incicommunity on high alert.” dents in New York City — 171 this year compared to 89 in ere were 1,299 incidents of anti-Semitism between Jan. the corresponding period last year. 1 and Sept. 30, according to the report. In all of 2016, there Anti-Semitic assaults, howwere 1,266 — a 34 perever, have fallen 60 percent: cent increase over 2015. ere were 12 assaults in the If the 2017 pace continfirst nine months of 2017, as ues, this year will see opposed to 29 over the same 1,732 anti-Semitic inciperiod last year. dents, close to double Nov. 2’s report by the ADL, the 942 incidents of two which fights anti-Semitism years ago. e last year and bigotry, said that in addiwith that level of antition to the waves of bomb Semitism was 2005, acthreats against Jewish institucording to ADL figures. tions at the beginning of the Most of the incidents, year, the main driver of antiincluding the bomb Semitic incidents was the threats, fell into the catwhite supremacist rally in egory of harassment. Vandalized gravestones at the stone road or waad hakolel cemetery ere were more than Charlottesville, Virginia, in in rochester, N.Y., March 3, 2017. August. 500 incidents of anti-SeCredit: Gretchen Stumme/AFP/Getty Images mitic vandalism along Most of the 162 bomb threats are suspected of coming from an American-Israeli with the 12 incidents of physical assault. e 269 incidents Jewish man living in Ashdod, Israel. Even discounting those in elementary, middle and high schools more than doubled threats, there was still a 46 percent increase in incidents. the 2016 figure. Incidents on college campuses also ine seven weeks following the Charlottesville rally saw 221 creased nearly 60 percent since last year. incidents of anti-Semitism. States with high Jewish populations saw the most inci“We are astonished and horrified by the rise in anti-Sedents, including New York, California, Massachusetts and mitic harassment, incidents and violence targeting our Florida. New York state has seen 267 incidents up to Sept. communities,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO and 30, more than the 199 reported all of last year. Most of the national director. incidents were acts of vandalism. “While the tragedy in Charlottesville highlighted this ADL canceled a Nov. 2 news conference about the report, trend, it was not an aberration. Every single day, white suciting Oct. 31’s terror attack in Lower Manhattan in which premacists target members of the Jewish community — eight people were killed. holding rallies in public, recruiting on college campuses, attacking journalists on social media, and even targeting jewish press Notices young children.” The Jewish Press will be closed on thursday, Nov. 23 for Following the arrest of the Jewish bombing hoax suspect Thanksgiving. The deadline for the Dec. 1 issue is tuesday, Nov. in March, Greenblatt explained why the ADL would con21, 9 a.m. Questions? Call 402.334.6448. tinue to include the threats — which forced the evacuations
Veterans Day and the unknown double amputee
oLiVer B. poLLAk t’s been 50 years since mothballing my Navy uniform in 1967, and 99 years since my grandfather was discharged from the German Army. Our October trip to Vietnam is only coincidentally related. My wife Karen wanted to see things I had already seen. We saw so much more. We were three minutes into a taxi ride from the Hanoi Pearl Hotel to Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, a 45-minute ride. Karen pointed speechlessly. A man with no legs, his torso poised on a board with four small wheels, like a mechanic’s creeper, scooting on the sidewalk. It brought back a haunting London childhood memory. My grandfather, a surgeon, served the German Army in the First World War. My father, an Austrian refugee, served in the British Czech Brigade in World War Two. Two World Wars, mustard gas, fire-bombing cities like Dresden, the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Agent Orange marked wartime generations and their offspring. We saw the man in question fleetingly through a taxi window. I did not have the temerity to ask the taxi driver to circle the block. Hanoi traffic is among the world’s scariest. Even if we were going slower it would be unseemly to stare. He was probably in his 70s; I could not tell if he was Asian or Caucasian. The Unknown Soldier is enemy or friend, Axis or Ally. The unknown amputee connected the late 1940s, the 1960s, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington and The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The Hanoi’s Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, Saigon’s War Remnants Museum, and Ho Chi Minh City’s Museum of Fine Arts revealed in sculpture, oil, acrylic and watercolor the Vietnamese millennial struggle against the Chinese, against French colonialism ending in 1954 at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, and against the imperialist Americans. Much of this art was completed by artists after the wars were over, a genre of memorial hagiography. Young brave men and women, in uniform and civilian dress, standing at the barricade, holding unfurled flags, rifles and bazookas at the ready, march forward, following orders and ideology. Graves and monuments recall the sacrifices of fallen heroes. Our Vietnam and Cambodia visit, a century’s distance from WWI, and half a century since Southeast Asian service, cast Veterans Day 2017 as a self-searching examination. War has a long tale. Our landing ship, LST 1148 Sumner County saw service from 1965 to 1967 in Danang, and unloaded troops, equipment, soda cans at Phan Rang, Cam Ranh Bay, Tuy Hoa and Nha Trang. On the Saigon River I took a picture of a plane spraying defoliant. I chat occasionally with shipmate Reg Truman. He goes to reunions and keeps up with the thinning of our ranks as crew members die of cancer and deal with Agent Orange. Seventy percent of Vietnam’s population was born after 1975. It is not a country for old men. Its 93,000,000 citizens created a vibrant capitalist economy within a communist political framework. They have learned to live with victory.
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The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017 | 7
Lieutenant Eliyahu Weinberger
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, nine of us headed down to Mizpeh Ramon to see Elie graduate from Officers Course. Nathan and Ruthie took a train from Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva and Sarah and I picked them up TEDDY WEINBERGER en route from Givat Ze’ev; Elie’s wife Hadar and her parents Rivka and David drove in one car from Jerusalem and Rebecca and Ezra in another. Given that Israelis are often blasé about graduations (many students do not attend their own university graduations), and given that a 2.5-hour drive is considered quite lengthy for our small country, this effort says a lot about the place of the Israel Defense Forces in Israeli society. We had some time before the ceremony and so Elie showed us around the base. The facilities are quite impressive: besides the classrooms, dining halls, and dormitories, there is a swimming pool, a running track, tennis court, basketball court, a beautiful synagogue designed to suggest the “burning bush,” and a large building housing a gym as well as rooms for free-weights, aerobic machines, and spinning bicycles (Hadar was noticeably relieved to hear that Elie did not avail himself of the co-ed spinning classes). During our walk we bumped into Elie’s course commander, Itay, who looked to be about Elie’s age (23), and Elie later confirmed this (with his fellow cadets as young as 19, Elie, who studied in a yeshiva for over two-and-a-half years before enlisting, was kind of a senior citizen). We shook hands with Itay and asked him how Elie did in the course. Itay said: “The truth? He was terrible.” We all laughed. We took our seats and awaited the start of the ceremony, which did not begin promptly at 16:00. The ceremony took place on the base’s huge parade grounds, so huge in fact that it dwarfed the approximately 600 cadets (about 10% of them women) who were about to become officers. A small marching band stepped its way to a corner of the grounds, from where it played military and Zionist songs; a color guard brought in various flags, and a number of military big-wigs marched in along with Israel ‘s Defense Minister. Even had we had the foresight to bring binoculars, I doubt that we would have been able to see Elie, who was with the largest contingent of cadets (the ground troops) and was standing many rows in. But then something happened. Something uncanny that moved Sarah and me to our very core. The announcer started reading off the list of outstanding cadets. I thought to myself: could it be? And then the announcer was saying “El,”
In the news
Greenblatt & Seay’s Schoolhouse Performance Series features a concert of Wedding Music on Sunday, Nov.12, at 2:30 p.m., in the Old Avoca, Nebraska Schoolhouse. This is a great opportunity for folks who are planning a wedding to experience some of the most requested wedding tunes, including Pachelbel’s Canon, and Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, as well as selections that are perfect before and after the ceremony. Besides Classical and Renaissance styles, Debby and David also play music from many cultures, i.e., Irish, Jewish, Swedish, etc. The happily married couple use a variety of instruments, including hammered
and then that turned into “Eliyahu” and then “Eliyahu Weinberger from Givat Zee’v,” and there was Elie running to the front to join the row of outstanding cadets. We all jumped up and screamed like crazy. I felt flushed, and hot, and dizzy with amazement. Sarah started to cry. The son of a gun had utterly surprised us (we found out later that he had known for a week). The Defense Minister personally cut the white ribbon covering the outstanding cadets officer’s bars. The base commander (we heard later), who was right behind, asked Elie if there was someone special for him in the crowd, no doubt expecting Elie to say “Mom” or “Grandma.” I imagine very few have answered as Elie did, “Yes, my wife.”
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402-934-7404 www.lifetimeinsight.com Elie and Hadar. Notice the white ribbon on Elie’s shoulder. During the seven or so months of the course, the cadets have their officer’s bars covered with this ribbon, to be removed upon graduation. Elie’s name was called out one more time. At the end of the ceremony the soldiers paraded off, led by the outstanding cadets. As Elie’s group marched by, the announcer noted that it was led by “Lt. Eliyahu Weinberger.” In a country that is technically at war with several of its neighbors, where there is a mandatory draft, and where Memorial Day is a somber national holiday with military cemeteries full of visitors, to have your son become an officer is a source of tremendous pride, all the more so if he will be an officer in an elite combat unit as Elie will be. To have your son be named an outstanding graduate of his officers course feels like the entire country has proclaimed your son to be a hero, and it also feels like the entire country gave Sarah and me a massive bear hug, saying: “You did good.” Elie will receive his soldiers in the upcoming November draft at a base in the Jordan Valley. I know and the country knows that they will be in good hands. Teddy Weinberger made aliyah in 1997 with his wife, former Omahan Sarah Ross, and their five children. Their oldest four, Nathan, Rebecca, Ruthie and Ezra are veterans of the Israel Defense Forces; Weinberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
dulcimer, violin, nyckelharpa, guitar, harmonica, etc. Greenblatt & Seay have been playing and singing together since they met, decades ago. The concert will be downstairs, followed by light refreshments, and a chance to chat and jam with the performers. Avoca is in southern Cass County, Nebraska, on the 13 C Spur, one mile south of Highway 34. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and $1 for children. Seating is limited. For more information, write to Greenblatt & Seay, The Old Schoolhouse, P.O. Box 671, Avoca, Nebraska, 68307, or call 402.275.3221, or e-mail them at email@example.com.
Sarit Hovav, M.D. Board-Certified Psychiatrist Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
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8 | The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017
(Founded in 1920) Eric Dunning President Annette van de Kamp-Wright Editor Richard Busse Creative Director Susan Bernard Advertising Executive Lori Kooper-Schwarz Assistant Editor Gabby Blair Staff Writer Thierry Ndjike Accounting Jewish Press Board Eric Dunning, President; Andy Ruback, Past-President; Sandy Friedman, Treasurer; Alex Grossman; Jill Idelman; Andy Isaacson, Mike Kaufman; David Kotok; Debbie Kricsfeld; Abby Kutler; Pam Monsky; Eric Shapiro and Barry Zoob. The mission of the Jewish Federation of Omaha is to build and sustain a strong and vibrant Omaha Jewish Community and to support Jews in Israel and around the world. Agencies of the Federation are: Community Relations Committee, Jewish Community Center, Center for Jewish LIfe, Jewish Social Services, and the Jewish Press. Guidelines and highlights of the Jewish Press, including front page stories and announcements, can be found online at: wwwjewishomaha.org; click on ‘Jewish Press.’ Editorials express the view of the writer and are not necessarily representative of the views of the Jewish Press Board of Directors, the Jewish Federation of Omaha Board of Directors, or the Omaha Jewish community as a whole. The Jewish Press reserves the right to edit signed letters and articles for space and content. The Jewish Press is not responsible for the Kashrut of any product or establishment. Editorial The Jewish Press is an agency of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Deadline for copy, ads and photos is: Thursday, 9 a.m., eight days prior to publication. E-mail editorial material and photos to: avandekamp@jew ishomaha.org; send ads (in TIF or PDF format) to: rbusse@jewishom aha.org. Letters to the Editor Guidelines The Jewish Press welcomes Letters to the Editor. They may be sent via regular mail to: The Jewish Press, 333 So. 132 St., Omaha, NE 68154; via fax: 1.402.334.5422 or via e-mail to the Editor at: avandekamp@jew ishomaha.org. Letters should be no longer than 250 words and must be single-spaced typed, not hand-written. Published letters should be confined to opinions and comments on articles or events. News items should not be submitted and printed as a “Letter to the Editor.” The Editor may edit letters for content and space restrictions. Letters may be published without giving an opposing view. Information shall be verified before printing. All letters must be signed by the writer, but the name can be withheld at the writer’s request. The Jewish Press will not publish letters that appear to be part of an organized campaign, nor letters copied from the Internet. No letters should be published from candidates running for office, but others may write on their behalf. Letters of thanks should be confined to commending an institution for a program, project or event, rather than personally thanking paid staff, unless the writer chooses to turn the “Letter to the Editor” into a paid personal ad or a news article about the event, project or program which the professional staff supervised. For information, contact Annette van de Kamp-Wright, Jewish Press Editor, 402.334.6450. Postal The Jewish Press (USPS 275620) is published weekly (except for the first week of January and July) on Friday for $40 per calendar year U.S.; $80 foreign, by the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Phone: 402.334.6448; FAX: 402.334.5422. Periodical postage paid at Omaha, NE. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Jewish Press, 333 So. 132 St., Omaha, NE 68154-2198 or email to: jpress@jewishomaha. org.
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Don’t mess with Bamba ANNETTE vAN DE KAmP Editor, Jewish Press Late October, Trader Joe’s announced they would now be selling Bamba, the Israeli snack made by Osem. That’s good news for those of us not allergic to peanuts and familiar with the addictive quality of Bamba. I know my kids are happy, because they’re not overpriced ($0.99 per bag!) and we’ll be able to get them right here in town. Yes, I realize that reads like an endorsement of Trader Joe’s. So be it. Of course the excitement didn’t go unanswered; mere hours after I posted the news to Facebook, a friend mailed me a cartoon published by MintPress News. Don’t know that publication? Don’t feel bad; I didn’t either. We’ll get to them later. In the cartoon, we can see a bag of Bamba, being tipped over so the peanut puffs roll out. Slowly, they morph into bombs, landing in, where else, Gaza. The name on the bag has been altered to ‘Bomba,’ just for the occasion. It’s all very witty. Who said the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions people have no sense of humor? Anyway, about that MintPress. “It’s a Minnesota-based news website launched in 2012,” says Wikipedia. Mind you, Wiki is using the term ‘news’ very loosely here, but we’ll move on. Its main focus is on political, economic, foreign affairs and environmental issues. Its founder, Mnar Muhawesh, is a broadcast journalism graduate from St. Cloud University. Her aims sounded lofty: “Muhawesh said she believed ‘our media has failed us very miserably,’ and cited uninformed public debates around issues like Iran’s nuclear capabilities or intervention in Syria. She also said: “We are in a crucial time in American history where most Americans don’t know what’s going on in the world around them.” Perhaps she thinks the readers are uninformed and ignorant, and need her to tell them what to think. This is also
known as: ‘I don’t agree with what you do know, so I’m going to change your mind.’ No wonder she lost her investors. It’s perfectly fine to come at journalism thinking you have something to share, you have an opportunity to educate, to help build dialogue. But approach your potential readers as if they are stupid and you don’t get very far. Journalism is never a one-way street. Since 2013, MintPress has been embroiled in disputes about authorship of certain articles, accused by the Chief U.N. weapons inspector in Syria of “producing 1001 Arabian Nights stories” and called out for its proAssad coverage. It has also been linked with hate sites like The American Herald Tribune (hosted by Holocaust denier and conspiracy theorist Anthony Hall) and IfAmericaKnew.org, where anti-Israel coverage borders on outright anti-Semitism. What was that again about media failing us miserably? Maybe, knowing all that, I shouldn’t be too irritated about that dumb cartoon. After all, Bamba won’t be alone on the shelf; Trader Joe’s has sold Israeli-made products under its brand for years (sheep feta!) and they seem in no hurry to stop. Still, I’m annoyed. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this is a simple innocent snack enjoyed by chil-
dren. Maybe it’s the fact that during the past week, my rockets-in-Israel-app has sounded the alarm several times, yet the cartoon shows peanut-puff bombs falling on Gaza. Maybe I’m just tired of the BDS movement. But what really gets me is that someone who thinks herself a journalist decides that Americans don’t know what’s
going on, feels it her duty to inform them because she knows better, pretends objectivity, only to turn around and spread lies. When you try to turn a complicated story with lots of gray into a black and white matter, at least come out and say it. Admit that you, like everybody else, have opinions that sometimes (often) interfere with your neutrality. It’s okay, really. We don’t all have to agree; we’re not robots. We have feelings and opinions about the world around us and we can expect to have differences. Just don’t pretend your truth is more true than ours.
Too few Israelis with disabilities live in their own homes. JAy RuDERmAN AND AvITAL SANDLER-LOEff is focusing on housing.To achieve this, we first JTA need a new generation of social services tailored In recent weeks we have seen Israelis with disto individuals so they can find a home and live abilities closing down highways and raising their independently. Through Supported Housing, a voices and public profiles in unprecedented ways program we launched in 2015, teams of mentors to demand better services, better treatment, and and care coordinators provide assistance to a role in Israel’s destiny and economic successes. young adults with disabilities in finding suitable In many ways they are fighting for personal apartments, adapting to an independent lifestyle, freedom, to feel a part of a community and at planning finances and housekeeping. home in their own country. For some Israelis with disabilities, such goals can only be achieved by starting with a literal home of their own. Among them are 10,000 Israelis with disabilities who are living in institutions. While this may not sound like a lot, remember that in the United States, where the general population is 40 times larger than Israel's, only 29,000 people with disabilities live in state institutions. For them, life is heavily restricted, without basic freedoms like choosing their own bedtime, finding a spouse or even having a key to their own rooms. Disabled activists blocking a road near the Israeli parliaMany Israelis with disabilities who live with ment in Jerusalem during a protest calling for better family members lack the kind of support that health care and allowances, Oct. 24, 2017. would enable them to handle their personal fiCredit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 nances, seek employment and find a place to live on their own. This is especially poignant for Recognized as one of the most innovative proyoung adults with disabilities who are eager to grams in the disabilities field by the Zero Project, set out on their own and build lives filled with the global initiative to create a world without friends, romantic relationships and families. barriers for people with disabilities, Supported Added to these challenges are Israel’s rising Housing has already assisted hundreds in finding cost of living and housing, and even more tragic, homes and beginning new lives. Next year we’ll pervasive stigmas about people with disabilities. join the emerging trend in the rest of the WestThat sentiment surfaced most recently when ern world by assisting people with more chalsome 53 percent of Israelis reported that they lenging disabilities, including those requiring would not rent an apartment to a person with nursing care, to find a home of their own. disabilities. Second, we need affordable housing alternaIsraelis with disabilities need services to support tives for people with disabilities, especially given their autonomy and to gain access to affordable a shortage of long-term rentals in Israel and housing. They deserve welcoming neighbors who rental prices that change on a whim. Through a recognize their value to the wider community. creative initiative with the Ministry of Housing To tackle these issues, Israel Unlimited – a and Construction that is being signed in the strategic partnership between the Ruderman coming days, we will ensure that people with disFamily Foundation and the government of Israel abilities have stable housing alternatives in Israel. to promote a more inclusive Israeli society and We’ll make this happen by matching philanindependent living for Israelis with disabilities – thropic funds to the ministry’s pool of rent subsi-
dies. This will result in a one-time payment for an apartment. We’ll start with 25 apartments, providing security to people with disabilities so they don’t have to fear sudden rent increases, and will also explore social impact investment models for future purchases. Third, we need to build inclusive communities and enlist the support of clergy, students and business leaders to fight negative perceptions and make our neighborhoods truly welcoming. We’re doing this by training rabbis and imams in the principles and practices of inclusivity; creating partnerships between people with and without disabilities in the area of sports and exercise; and forming grassroots student groups to advance accessibility and inclusivity on campus. We will work with artists and designers, with and without disabilities, to create social media campaigns to erase stigmas. Progress in these areas can often mean the difference between meaningful lives and those filled with frustration and heartbreak. Take Lior and Lotem, a 20-something couple from Rehovot. They long desired to live together on their own, but Lior’s group home and Lotem’s parents were resistant to such a move. With our support, Lior and Lotem convinced their families to help them fulfill their dream. We deployed our program staff to talk with their caretakers, ensure they had the life skills necessary to foster independence, and help them find a home. A few months later they moved into their first apartment. And right before Rosh Hashanah, they married. Lior and Lotem are but two of the hundreds of thousands of Israelis with disabilities who desire access to the kinds of freedoms we all enjoy. Let’s join with them to make this a reality and give new meaning to the phrase “home sweet home.” Jay Ruderman is the president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. Avital Sandler-Loeff, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's disabilities expert, is the director of Israel Unlimited.
The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017 | 9
Here’s why I believed elie Wiesel’s accuser
LIoR ZaLtZman NEW YORK | JTA When I read the headline of Jenny Listman’s Medium piece — “When I was nineteen years old, Elie Wiesel grabbed my ass” — I decided not to click on it. It wasn’t because of any judgment I passed on her or the veracity of her claim. But the bluntness and clarity of her headline was, in the worst of ways, transporting — or as the youth like to say, triggering. Not having even read it, I knew I believed it, believed her. I believed that as a 19-year-old attending a Jewish fundraiser in 1989, she was fondled by the Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor as they posed for a group photograph. Now I’d like to clarify that I don’t think that just because I believe something, there is an obligation for news outlets like JTA to publish a story about it. We need to be thoughtful before we publish anything, especially something so serious as an allegation of unwanted sexual contact. We need to confirm certain basic facts: that the accusers are who they say they are, that they were where they claimed to be — and, when possible, get a response from the other side. But as a woman, whenever I can, I make the choice to believe victims. I know how important it is to stand in solidarity with other women when so often our experiences are less likely to be believed. What has been especially surprising about the rise of #MeToo, the popular internet campaign that has victims of sexual assault and harassment sharing their experiences, has been the incredulous response from men. We have been telling our experiences for months and years, yet men still insist they did not know. From my own experiences and what I’ve heard from other women, queer and non-binary people, I know just how common sexual harassment and assault is. They are carried out by strangers in the street and by men we believed in, who we thought were “good guys.” Which is why these allegations are never surprising, to me at least. Another thing that was not surprising to me was the propensity — especially by men (and of course by some women) — to doubt Listman’s story and put her down for telling it. Even in Listman’s own tale, the response from her thenboyfriend is particularly telling: When she tells him about Wiesel squeezing her behind, he responds with incredulity. “He must have had his hand on your waist,” he says. “Are you sure?” Women’s experiences of pain, emotional and physical, are often doubted or downgraded. Recent studies show that
women are 13 to 24 percent less likely to be treated with opioids for pain than men, and that they have to wait longer to receive pain medication in emergency rooms. Our pain, quite literally, is simply taken less seriously. I’ve seen people dissecting Listman’s pain and trauma, so clearly depicted in her Medium piece, in the most ungenerous of ways. They’ll say that she couldn’t have been so traumatized by an action as minor as having her butt squeezed. It seems to me just another case of us doubting women’s pain. I worry that in reporting the onslaught of stories on sexual assault, harassment and rape, we all become accountants of pain or gravity. Stories like those of Harvey Weinstein and James Toback, of Bill O’Reilly and Terry Richardson, offer gruesome accounts of serial harassment, abuse and assault. There is wide consensus that these serial predators should get what they deserve. But if someone carries out an act of sexual assault only once, is it any less of a violation? In only reporting the “major” offenders, are we saying the isolated incidents are somehow OK? Credit: JTA collage According to a federallyfunded study, the prevalence of false reporting in cases of sexual assault is between two and 10 percent. Despite those incredibly low numbers, according to the study, survivors who come forward often “face scrutiny or encounter barriers” from investigators. You know what has a high likelihood? Women not reporting assault and men never being convicted for sexual assault. As to the conversation about Elie Wiesel’s “legacy” — the legacies of great men and women are always more complicated than we are comfortable admitting. And the legacies of men with power are often intertwined with abuses of that power. There is nothing “Jewish” about the scandals surrounding Weinstein or Toback, or the allegation about Elie Wiesel — except to the degree that the Jewish media claim them as members of the “community.” Theirs are stories about men in positions of power abusing the less powerful or the powerless. That’s what binds the narratives pouring forth from women on Facebook and the mainstream media. We should be able to acknowledge the legacy of a man like Wiesel without ignoring the possibility that he was flawed. But the comments about protecting the legacy of Elie Wiesel are, intentionally or not, upholding another legacy: the legacy of believing men over women and sweeping the truths of women under the carpet. Lior Zaltzman is the social media editor for 70 Faces Media, JTA’s parent company.
What did Jared know? Jewish takes on the Russia Affair
Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON | JTA Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating whether President Donald Trump’s campaign had ties with Russia, issued two indictments this week and unsealed a guilty plea. Paul Manafort, who for several months last year helmed the Trump campaign, and an associate, Rick Gates, who remained with the campaign aer Manafort le and worked through Trump’s transition to the presidency, were placed under house arrest Monday for money laundering and making false statements to federal authorities. George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the campaign, in a guilty plea earlier in October copped to lying to federal investigators about his overtures to Russian agents on behalf of the campaign. e indictments of Gates and Manafort have mostly to do with clientele — Russian-backed politicians in the Ukraine — separate from the main thrust of the “collusion” probe. Papadopoulos lied in January and several times thereaer about contacts he had with Russian agents while he was a foreign policy adviser to the campaign. Did George tell Jared? One oﬃcial who may be wary of the probe is Jared Kushner, who was a senior adviser to Trump throughout the campaign. Mueller is looking into Kushner’s campaign activities, and Kushner attended a separate meeting in June 2016 with Trump’s son, Manafort and another Russian figure who was seeking closer ties between the campaign and Russia. at figure, Natalia Veselnitskaya, oﬀered dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, as did Papadopoulos’ interlocutors, in the form of hacked emails. Emails from Papadopoulos about his Russia contacts reached various people in the campaign. e plea he signed describes them as a “senior policy adviser,” a “highranking campaign oﬃcial,” a “campaign supervisor” and multiple other oﬃcials. In those emails, he urged the oﬃcials to consider oﬀers by figures close to Russian oﬃcialdom to organize a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Trump. Many of the email recipients have been identified in the media — Sam Clovis, a campaign co-chairman, is the “campaign supervisor”; Corey Lewandowski, who preceded Manafort as campaign manager, is the “high-ranking campaign oﬃcial”; and Manafort is “another high-ranking campaign oﬃcial.” Many others, including the “senior policy adviser,” remain unidentified. It’s not clear whether Papadopoulos told campaign oﬃcials about the hacked emails. Nor is it clear to what degree Kushner knew of the adviser’s meetings with Russia. Mueller, in releasing the Papadopoulos guilty plea, suggested there was more to come.
10 | The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017
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323 South 132 Street Omaha, NE 68154
Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) 13111 Sterling Ridge Drive Omaha, NE 68144-1206 402.556.6536 templeisraelomaha.com
Member of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism 3219 Sheridan Boulevard Lincoln, NE 68502-5236 402.423.8569 tiferethisraellincoln.org
B’naI Israel synagogue
Please join us for our upcoming events: Join us for our monthly Shabbat Speakers Series on nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. with guest speaker Yonaton Doron, Omaha Community Shaliach. Our service leader is Larry Blass, and as always, an oneg to follow service. Everyone is always welcome at B’nai Israel! For information on our historic synagogue, please contact any of our board members: Scott Friedman, Rick Katelman, Carole Lainof, Marty Ricks, Sissy Silber, Nancy Wolf and Phil Wolf.
BeTh el synagogue
Services conducted by Rabbi Steven Abraham and Hazzan Michael Krausman. frIday: Kabbalat Shabbat, 6 p.m. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Services, Cup of Coffee with God and Shabbat to honor Veterans, 9:30 a.m.; Shabbat’s Cool (Grades 3-7), 10 a.m.; Mini-Minyannaires, 10:45 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 6:15 p.m. weekday serVICes: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; weekdays, 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. sunday: BESTT Classes, 9:30 a.m.-noon; Torah Study, 10 a.m.; Musical Midrash with Marty Shukert, 11 a.m.-noon; BILU USY Baking Date, Kadima and their parents, noon-3 p.m. Tuesday: Chesed Committee Visits Remington Heights, 2 p.m. wednesday: Chesed Committee Visits Sterling Ridge, 2 p.m.; BESTT Hebrew School, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; The Secret Siddur of the Shaliach Tzibour—a look at the Shabbat service from the Hazzan’s point of view, taught by Hazzan Michael Krausman, 6 p.m. For more information email hazzankrausman@ bethel-omaha.org; BESTT Hebrew High, 6:30-8 p.m. Tot Shabbat Pre-Neg, friday, nov. 17, 5:30 p.m. and PJ Library Tot Shabbat, friday, nov. 17, 6 p.m. All classes and programs are open to everyone in the Jewish community.
BeTh Israel synagogue
Services conducted by Rabbi Ari Dembitzer. frIday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Candle Lighting and Mincha, 4:52 p.m.; Project Dreamland Shabbat Dinner, 6 p.m. saTurday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; November Simcha Kiddush, 11:30 a.m.; Insights into the Weekly Torah, 3:50 p.m.; Mincha/Seudah Shlishit, 4:35 p.m.; Project Dreamland Muscial Havdalah, 5:53 p.m. sunday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Bagels and Beit Medrash, 9:45 a.m. monday-wednesday: Shacharit, 7 a.m. Thursday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Woman’s Class, 9:30 a.m.
Office hours: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Services conducted by Rabbi Mendel Katzman. frIday: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. followed by a festive Kiddush luncheon. weekdays: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. monday: Personal Parsha class, 9:30 a.m. with Shani. wednesday: Mystical Thinking with Rabbi, 9:30 a.m. with Rabbi Mendel Katzman. Thursday: Talmud Class, noon with Rabbi Mendel Katzman. All programs are open to the entire community.
CongregaTIon B’naI Jeshurun
Services conducted by Rabbi Teri Appleby. frIday: Candlelighting, 4:54 p.m.; Shabbat Evening Service (Guests: confirmation class from St. Paul’s in Dewitt, NE), 6:30 p.m.; Oneg, 7:30 p.m. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Torah Study on Parashat Chayeh Sarah, 10:30 a.m.; Havdalah (72 Minutes), 6:23 p.m. sunday: Global Day Study Sessions and Tzedakah project, 9:30 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; Mezuzah dedication, 4 p.m. at the home of Rabbi Appleby and Jonathan Leo. Tuesday: Star City Kochavim Rehearsal, 6:45 p.m.; Intro to Judaism, Session #1, 7 p.m. led by Rabbi Appleby. The cost
is $50 for course materials. Register by calling the Temple office at 402.435.8004 or firstname.lastname@example.org. wednesday: Rabbi Appleby presenting to Ed Allen’s World Religions class, Union College, noon; LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at TI. Lincoln Jewish Community School Shabbat Family Service and Meal, friday, nov. 17, 6 p.m. at Tifereth Israel. Note: There will be no services at the Temple on the 17th. Jewish Book Club, nov. 19, 1:30 p.m. at Gere Library and will discuss The Yiddush Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon. South Street Temple is partnering with "We Can Do This" to provide weekend meals to the children of the F Street Community Center. Join us as we provide lunch on the third Sunday of every month. Food/monetary donations, meal preparation and assistance with setting up, serving, and clean-up are needed! We will serve our next meal on nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, email Sarah Beringer at email@example.com.
offuTT aIr forCe Base
frIday: Services, 7:30 p.m. every first and third of the month.
rose BlumkIn JewIsh home
saTurday: Services, 9:15 a.m. Services will be held in the Chapel. Members of the community are invited to attend.
frIday: Shabbat Comes to You at Remington Heights, 4 p.m.; Camp-Style Friday Night Services wtih OSRUI, 6 p.m. Join new OSRUI Camp Director, Solly Kane for a true campstyle Shabbat service! OSRUI Song Leader Max Gendler will be with us to lead an authentic camp Shabbat complete with all of your favorite camp tunes! saTurday: Torah Study, 9:15 a.m.; Shabbat Service, 10:30 a.m. Bar mitzvah of mendel wright, son of annette and Jeremy wright; Lunch Parlor Meeting with OSRUI, 12:30 p.m. at the home of Rabbi Stoller.If you have a child in 1st-5th grade and want to learn more about OSRUI, join OSRUI Director, Solly Kane for a more personal conversation about camp. RSVP to Temple Israel, 402.556.6536; OSRUI Alumni Event, 7:30 p.m. at the home of Rabbi Azriel. OSRUI campers/counselors and alumni members join Solly Kane for Havdallah and desserts. RSVP to Temple Israel, 402.556.6536. sunday: All School Family T’filah, 10 a.m.; Grades PreK6, 10 a.m.; OSRUI at Temple Israel’s Religious School, 10 a.m. Camp Director Solly Kane will speak with Religious School students about what OSRUI is all about! Families are welcome to join. At this time, there will be a $1,000 scholarship drawing for OSRUI. Parents may register their child(ren) for the scholarship drawing by contacting Temple Israel, 402.556.6536; Grade 6 B’nai Mitzvah Parent Meeting, 10:30 a.m.; Temple Israel Book Club, 10:30 a.m. This month’s book is Life is With People: The Culture of the Shtetl by authors Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog and includes an introduction by Margaret Mead; Religious School Steering Committee Meeting, noon. wednesday: Grades 3-6, 4 p.m.; T’filah for School, 4:30 p.m.; School Dinner, 6 p.m.; Grades 7-12, 6 p.m.; Family School, 6 p.m.; Guiding Principles for the Synagogue Community: Binah: Act and Speak Wisely, 6:30 p.m. with Rabbi Deana Sussman Berezin. Thursday: Jewish Heroes, Heroines, and Personalities by Imam Mohamad Jamal Daoudi, American Muslim Institute, 10 a.m.; A Rosh Chodesh Kislev Seminar with Psychic Medium Nancy Geyer, 6:30 p.m. at home of Mendy Halsted, 9102 Shirley
St. Psychic medium Nancy Geyer will discuss Rosh Chodesh concepts of the afterlife, new beginnings, and Jewish mysticism. She will share stories about her experiences and how she communicates with parents and family members who have passed on to the afterlife. Nancy will answer your questions and maybe connect you to a cherished loved one. This event is hosted by Mindi Armstrong and Mendy Halsted. RSVP to Temple Israel, rsVp@templeisr aelomaha.com or 402.556.6536, by nov. 9. Eat, Pray, Schmooze with TiYPE, saturday, nov. 18, 10:30 a.m. Join TiYPE at Saturday morning services at Temple Israel followed by lunch at Swartz’s Deli (appetizers are on us). We will meet at Temple Israel at 13111 Sterling Ridge Drive. RSVP today at firstname.lastname@example.org by nov. 13. Temple Ted Talk: What Will Humans Look Like in 100 years?, sunday, no. 19, 10:30 a.m. Dan Gilbert will share “What Will Humans Look Like in 100 years?” All are welcome. OTYG Meeting, sunday, nov. 19, noon. Join OTYG and the board as they discuss and plan upcoming programming and events. RSVP to email@example.com by nov. 16. Join Tri-Faith Teens at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, sunday, nov. 19 Youth gathering, 4 p.m., Service, 5 p.m. at First Central Congregational Church 421 South 36th Street. All 7th-12th grade students are invited to a youth gathering at 4 p.m. for a free meal. RSVP to benleathersarnold@yahoo. com by nov. 16. 22nd Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, sunday, nov. 19, 5 p.m. at First Central Congregational Church, 421 South 36th Street. Rabbi Berezin and Cantor Shermet will participate. Kol Rina will join a combined choir made up of members of the participating congregations. Monetary donations will be collected for Together, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing homelessness and assisting those in need. Following the service, there will be a reception.
Services conducted by lay leader Nancy Coren. Office hours: monday-friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. frIday: Services, 6:30 p.m. saTurday: Shabbat Morning service, 10 a.m.; Junior Congregation, 11 a.m.; Please join us after services for a light Kiddush lunch. sunday: Global Day of Learning, 9:30 a.m.-noon at Tifereth Israel. Theme is Beauty and Ugliness; LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; Tifereth Israel Board Meeting, 1 p.m. monday: Second Half of the DVD Course Beginnings of Judaism, 7:30-9 p.m. If you are interested in participating in this course, please contact Nava. If you have any questions about this course, please contact Al Weiss at albertw801@ gmail.com. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at TI. Thursday: Hebrew classes for adults, 6:30-7:30 p.m., with Esti Sheinberg. The classes continues until mid-December, and then resumes in mid-January, depending on demand. Each meeting will include listening, speaking and a little reading. Conversational Hebrew will be our starting point. If you are interested please RSVP to Esti at esti firstname.lastname@example.org. Lincoln Jewish Community School Shabbat Family Service and Meal, friday, nov. 17, 6 p.m. at Tifereth Israel. Services will be followed by a meal prepared by the LJCS students. Dr. Joseph Francisco, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNL, is our next Lunch and Learn series guest speaker on saturday, nov. 18, noon (following services)during lunch.) Jewish Book Club, sunday, nov. 19, 1:30 p.m. at Gere Library and will discuss The Yiddush Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon. Please contact Laura French with any questions.
richard Zacharia honored At the 2017 Annual Business Meeting Luncheon, hosted by the Nebraska Society of C.P.A.s, Dick Zacharia was awarded the Distinguished Service to Profession Award. Zacharia earned the honor because of his decades of leadership in public accounting, his vision in leading and growing one of Nebraska’s premier C.P.A. firms and his service to the profession on the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy. Zacharia began his professional career with Peat Marwick and Mitchell. Dean Frankel, who founded the firm now known as Fankel Zacharia, L.L.C., hired Zacharia in the late
1960s. Frankel gave Zacharia the opportunity to manage the firm’s internal operations. Eventually, he became Managing Partner in 1979 and remained in that capacity for 25 years. Under Zacharia’s guidance, the firm has grown to a total staff of 26 C.P.A.s and a total staff of 60 serving clients in 46 states. Zacharia is a past member of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Board of Directors and pastPresident of Highland Country Club. In 2003, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy by then-Governor Mike Johanns. He was subsequently reappointed to two more terms.
The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017 | 11
lifecycles baT miTzvah
Ava Simons, daughter of Tonya and Rob Simons will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Temple Israel. She is a seventh grade Honor roll student at Kiewit Middle School. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing with her two dogs and running cross country and track. For her Mitzvah project, Ava is volunteering at the Heartland Food Bank. She is also coordinating a book drive for the Bertha Alyce Early Chilcare school in Houston. Their library was completly flooded from the hurricane. She has a brother, Jack. Grandparents are Linda Siref Redler and (step) Steve Redler, Ron Simons, and the late Charles and Kay Fluty. Great-grandparents are Sylvia Davis, the late Harry Siref, Irv Davis and Evelyn and Ben Simons.
julian henry wiTkowski
Julian Henry Witkowski, son of Susan and Isaac Witkowski will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Beth El. He is a seventh grade student at Beveridge Magnet Middle School and a graduate of Friedel Jewish Academy. He has achieved his first degree black belt in taekwondo, and competed in the Modern Woodmen of America Speech Contest at the State level in 2016. Julian enjoys fencing lessons and hip hop dance, playing Overwatch, loves to read, play basketball and is learning to play guitar. He spends free time running around and playing fetch with his dog Max, and purposely annoying his cat Felix. He has spent two amazing summers at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, and many fun summers prior to that at Herzl Camp — he loves both, and everything about Jewish summer camp. He has an older sister, Gabby. Grandparents are Richard and the late Beverly Fellman, and the late Ruben and Thelma Witkowski.
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daisy mae salTzman
Sarah and Scott Saltzman of Denver, CO, announce the Oct. 25 birth of their daughter, Daisy Mae. She is named for her grandfather Andrew Richstone. She has a brother, Max Charlie. Grandparents are Lynne and Errol Saltzman of Omaha, and Lee Richstone of Israel. Great grandmother is Selma Weber of Queens, NY
dr. milTon simons
Dr. Milton Simons passed away on Oct. 13 at age 93. Services were held Oct. 15 at Beth El Cemetery, 84th & L Streets. He was preceded in death by wife Maxine, daughter Laurie Misle and grandson Jason Fields. He is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Jerry and Judy Simons; daughters and sons-in-law, Carol and Alan Parsow and Shari and Kerry Fields; sonin-law, Bryan Misle; grandchildren: Jim Simons, Jon and Heather Simons, Josh Parsow, Danny Parsow, Michael Parsow, Jared Fields, Andy and Hillary Misle, Amy Misle Elmore and Tony Elmore; great-grandchildren: Carter Simons and Maysie Simons. He was a beloved father, grandfather and renowned pathologist. Memorials may be made to Beth El Cemetery Expansion Fund: www.bethel-omaha.org, Fraxa Foundation: www.fraxa.org, YACHAD fund: www.jfsomaha.com/yachad, and Laurie Simons Misle Grant Fund: https://nufoundation.org/-/unmc-college-of-medicine-laurie-simonsmisle-grant-fund-01069150, Nebraska Jewish Historical Society: http://www.nebraskajhs.com.
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Announcements may be e-mailed to the Press at jpress@jewish omaha.org; mailed to 333 So. 132 St., Omaha, NE 68154. Readers can also submit announcements -- births, b’nai mitzvahs, engagements, marriages, commitment ceremonies or obituaries -- online at the Jewish Federation of Omaha website: www.jewish omaha.org. Click on “Jewish Press” and go to Submit Announcements.
israeli leaders send messages of support in wake of Texas church shooting JERUSALEM | JTA Israeli leaders sent messages of support to the United States in the wake of a Texas church shooting that le at least 26 people dead. “Horrified by the savagery in Texas,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that his office also tweeted. “Our hearts are with the victims, their families and the American people.” President Reuven Rivlin, on an oﬃcial visit to Spain, also tweeted his concern. “Terrible news coming out of #Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families,” he wrote. A gunman opened fire Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small town east of San Antonio. e congregation had just begun its service at 11 a.m. when the gunfire began. e gunman has been identified to several media outlets by unnamed sources as Devin Kelley, 26, from near San Antonio, according to reports. Kelley reportedly served in the Air Force, but was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and child, and received a dishonorable discharge in 2014 for “bad conduct.” Kelley carried out the shooting with a military-style rifle
and was wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest. He first shot at the church from outside, and then entered the small, white building and continued to shoot. He was later found dead in his car some miles from the church. It is not clear if he killed himself or died of a gunshot wound from a pursuer. No motive has been established for the attack, which was carried out about 30 miles from Kelley’s home. e victims ranged in age from 5 to 72. At least 20 others were wounded. e service was being broadcast on YouTube. President Donald Trump, on an oﬃcial visit to Japan, tweeted: “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. e FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.” He later made a statement in which he addressed what he called “an act of evil.” “Americans do what we do best: we pull together. We join hands. We lock arms and through the tears and the sadness, we stand strong,” he said. Ivanka Trump also addressed the attack in a tweet: “God bless the people of Sutherland Springs, TX. Our country’s hearts are breaking for the victims & their families. We love & are with you!”
JTA e Times of Israel’s website was hacked by a Turkish group on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. On the morning of Nov. 2, the English-language news site’s homepage featured an image of children waving a Turkish flag and a line that apparently vowed to protect “Palestine” and Gaza. Underneath that was a Quran verse that reads, in part, “And they wronged Us not — but they were [only] wronging themselves.” It was written in Turkish, Arabic and English.
e page was signed by the group Akincilar, which hacked multiple Dutch websites earlier this year aer Turkey and the Netherlands had a political falling-out in the wake of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s controversial referendum win. e site was back online late aernoon on ursday, Nov. 2, which was the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, the first public statement from the British government that announced it supported the establishment of a Jewish state in then-Palestine.
Times of Israel hacked by Turkish group
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Listening to America
12 | The Jewish Press | November 10, 2017
The United states of America, through thick and thin, proved its rightful place as an international superpower in the last 240 years. We survived through wars and depressions, and we prevailed in the fields of science, art and, most importantly, liberty and justice. Because of this, each American citizen should perform for it a duty, a responsibility. We were born free; we must deserve to be free. is responsibility is manifested in many ways. For example, the very bravest and finest join our military and are deployed halfway around the world to fight injustice in the name of the USA. Some become politicians and debate their interpretation of the law for what they believe is right for America. Some simply light fireworks on Independence Day and spend a few minutes reflecting on this great country. I, however, bear a diﬀerent responsibility to the USA. My responsibility is to listen. I do not possess the heart of a soldier, nor the mind of a politician, nor the fearlessness of lighting a slightly wobbly firework. What I do possess is a pair of ears, ears which must listen to the stories and accomplishments of fine Americans who possess the abilities that I lack. Ears which must listen to the unwavering laws of the land. Ears which must hear the war stories of veterans, the policies of politicians, and the sheer pride all Americans intrinsically have. Ears which must listen to the stories that make me realize how uniquely amazing it is to have been born an American.
Many a veteran pours his story to the seemingly deaf ears of my generation. Veterans are brought to schools and events to speak in front of demoralizingly disinterested audiences. Nonetheless, they tell their stories with passion and pride, sAm kricsfeLd hoping that someone is listening. My responsibility is to reassure them that despite the seemingly overwhelming lack of interest in my peers, there are people who care, people who will listen not because they are forced to, but because of their own volition. e fact that they risked
their lives for a country and fought for my rights, well, that makes me unbelievably fortunate. To them, I am listening. And indeed there are people who care about politicians’ visions of America. A worrying amount of people support politicians via bandwagon; they make their decisions based on those of others. It is my responsibility to listen to each politician’s views and beliefs and make an informed decision based on what I personally believe is right for our country. My ears are to hear what each potential leader’s ideal future for Amer-
ica is and choose objectively what I believe best represents the values of America itself. ey have the power to change the United States for the better. To them, I am listening. Finally, there is the American I am most familiar with; the average American. He has not fought for his country, nor worked explicitly to change it. But he works hard, he acts right, and he has more reasons than he can count for loving his country. He exists in every city, every state. He raises his flag, he pays his taxes, and he is always willing to tell a story about what his country did for him. I am like him. And he deserves to be heard too. He may just have an insight which makes me realize yet another way in which being born in the USA is a blessing. To him, I am listening. Alan Alda once said, “Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.” ere is no definitive right or wrong way to take pride in your country. What better way than to fulfill my obligation, my responsibility, to America than to listen and be changed by the stories of devoted Americans and their unwavering love for their country? What better way than to hear as many reasons as I can to make me realize how exceptionally lucky I am to be an American? Sam Kricsfeld is a freshman at the University of Kansas, VFW Post 2503’s 2017, Voice of Democracy essay winner for “My Responsibility to America” Sam is the son of Dr. Alan and Debbie Kricsfeld and grandson of retired Air Force Vietnam War Veteran, Jakob Besser. Emerging Voices invites Jewish writers between the ages of 13 and 25 to share their thoughts and opinions about any topic they choose. If you are interested in writing for this series, please email the editor at avandekamp@jew ishomaha.org. Emerging Voices is supported by the Joanie Jacobson Jewish Cultural Arts Fund at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation.
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